KEN Simpson is definitely not the retiring type.

For at 81, Ken, the dad of ex-Carlisle United boss Paul Simpson, is still working in the parts department at Carlisle-based agricultural machinery dealer, Rickerby Limited, and says he has no plans yet to clock off.

Five days a week, Ken, who lives in Carlisle with wife, Olive, 81, is up with the larks and is the first through the doors at the company’s office in Currock Road.

“You have to be up early in the morning to beat Ken into work. You can set your watch by him. He’s in each morning at 7.40 am precisely,” said Martyn Henderson, Rickerby’s sales director.

Ken said: “It was no conscious decision - I just went on working. I love what I do. I wouldn’t be here if I didn’t.”

Ken started working at Rickerby when he was 21, and 60 years to the day, staff and retired bosses, Paddy and Anthony Rickerby, celebrated his amazing achievement with a cake and presentation.

“I was only 13 when Ken started working for us,” said Anthony Rickerby.

“We’ve had staff doing 50 years, but never 60 years. It is a record for us; someone working at 81 - we will probably never see that again,” said Martyn.

In 1959 Ken did National Service and spent two years in Berlin with the Border Regiment. Part of this was spent on guard duty at Spandau allied military prison where Rudolf Hess was imprisoned after being sentenced to life at the Nuremberg trials in


Olive and Ken married while he was still in Berlin, but, on his return, they set up home in a Carlisle flat.

“I had trained as a textile worker, but I didn’t want to work in a factory. We lived in a flat in Carlisle and Rickerby’s premises were across the road and I went in and asked if they had any work.”

Ken’s big love, after Olive of course, he says is football.

That’s hardly surprising given the Simpson family name is now one of the most influential in Carlisle’s sporting history.

Son Paul left Carlisle United as boss 10 years ago after leading the Blues to back-to-back promotion. He now coaches the England U-20 team that took the 2017 World Cup title.

“I’m so proud of Paul,” said Ken.

Ken’s brother, Ronnie, played for several big-name teams from the age of 15, ending his career with Carlisle, and Ken’s uncle Bill also played for Carlisle.

“Bill was signed up by Ivor Broadis. That was when I first started watch Carlisle play,” reminisced Ken, who is no stranger to the sport himself having played football for 14MU, along with brothers, Robert and John.

He also played cricket for Raffles for many years.

Grandson Joe Simpson is a referee and linesman, and Jake Simpson, Paul’s son, now plays for AFC Fylde.

But not all the Simpson children are into football. Grandson Dominic Simpson is a well-known stage star, and is playing the lead in the Book of Mormon in the West End.

“Look at that, he’s still sprightly, but I don’t think he’s been on a tractor for years,” commented Martyn, as Ken nimbly jumped down from the 1965 David Brown he had been sitting on.

“As long as I’m fit I’ll keep going,” said Ken.